Alaska’s Supreme Court Holds That Executing a Settlement Agreement Releases Parties from Contractual Obligation to Arbitrate Disputes

SMJ Gen. Constr., Inc. v. Jet Commer. Constr., LLC, No. S-16785/16985, 2019 BL 131640 (Alaska Apr. 12, 2019)

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Ryan R. Deroo

In 2016, Jet Commercial Construction, LLC (“Jet”) entered into a subcontract with SMJ General Construction, Inc. (“SMJ”) to supply materials and labor for the construction of a restaurant in Hawaii.  The subcontract contained a dispute resolution provision that required the parties to first mediate any dispute and then submit it to arbitration if mediation was unsuccessful.  It also included a choice-of-law and venue provision designating Oklahoma Law and the courts of Cleveland County, Oklahoma for any lawsuits pertaining to the Agreement’s enforcement.

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Utah Federal Court Dismisses Claim for Attorney Fees Finding That Neither the Indemnification Provision nor the Failure-To-Perform Provision Applies to a Lawsuit Between Contractor and Subcontractor

R&O Constr. Co. v. MBA Gen. Contracting, LLC, No. 1:18-cv-00042, 2019 BL 98680 (D. Utah Mar. 21, 2019)
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Michelle J. Cuozzo

On March 21, 2019, a Utah federal court granted Defendants MBA General Contracting, LLC and Cory Martin’s motion to dismiss R&O Construction Company’s claim for attorney fees.

R&O, as general contractor of a construction project, entered into two subcontracts with MBA to perform concrete work.  The first subcontract, entitled Master Subcontract Agreement, outlined general obligations between the parties.  The second, entitled Work Authorization Document, outlined more specific obligations.  R&O asserted various causes of action against MBA arising from MBA’s alleged breach of the subcontracts, including a claim for attorney fees.  MBA moved to dismiss the attorney fees claim, arguing that neither subcontract provides for such an award.

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Ohio Appellate Court Finds That Coal Mining Entities Are Liable to Pipeline Operator for Preventative Measures to Protect Against Subsidence Damages

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC v. Ohio Valley Coal Co., 2019 BL 99544 (Ohio Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2019)

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Ralph C. Surman Jr.

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (“Columbia”) operated a high-pressure gas pipeline.  A portion of pipeline crossed land for which Ohio Valley Coal Company (“OVC”) and Consolidated Land Company (“Consolidated”) held interest rights in the underlying coal.  Columbia undertook measures to protect its pipeline from subsidence damage that OVC’s subterranean coal mining was certain to cause.  An Ohio appellate court held that OVC and Consolidated were liable to Columbia for those preventative measures.

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